Thomson’s Gazelle

Thomson’s gazelle lives in grassy steppes in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as in dry bush stands and thickets of Sudan. Only in exceptional cases can you meet this sociable animal alone. Usually these gazelles live in massive groups of about 700 individuals. Each herd has explicit hierarchy. Oldest male keeps away the young grown-up males from the herd, females with cubs live separately. They are not picky on food and can live long without water. Thomson’s gazelles live in exposed territories, therefore they can easily spot possible enemies. Gazelle can recognize real danger very well and it’s crucial for survival as they usually pasture near lions.

cheetah hunt Thomson’s Gazelle
Thompson's Gazelles need to be very attentive to avoid this

Gazelles are not picky on food and eat variety of fruits, but mostly Thomson’s gazelle lives off grass. During rainy season it mostly stays in grassy steppe. During dry period, when the grass parches, gazelles leave sunny valleys and move to bushy thickets where they feast on various brittle sprouts of bushes and small trees. Gazelles with their razor-sharp lower teeth bite and tear off fruits. Every morsel is carefully chewed and shred. Gazelle is typical ruminant with very effective digestive apparatus, which allows using all of the component parts. Gazelle swallows food in the first section of stomach and partly processes, then ruminates the food, again processes and swallows another time.  Only then food goes through the rest of the stomach and are used all the component parts.

While the gazelle looks very fragile, it is actually aggressive and very intolerant animal. If one male enters another’s territory then arise furious fight between them. Both males bow their heads, grapple with other’s horns and try to push the enemy with force. This kind of fight lasts for several minutes when one of the male leaves the territory. Fights can be gory and males often harm each other. When the males succeed into defending his territory it mates with the grown female. Male tries to keep the female herd in his territory and doesn’t bother females in other’s territory.

desaaaa Thomson’s Gazelle
Althoug the Thompson's Gazelles look fragile, they are quite aggressive

As the Thomson’s gazelle doesn’t have definite mating period, cubs born in the time when there’s plenty of food. During rutting-time the grown males mark their territory with urine, excrements and flux of eye-sockets. These territories are surprisingly small. Female’s attention try to attract two males which aren’t further than 300 m between them.

After pregnancy, which lasts five months, the female secedes from the herd and gives birth to one cub. The first week after labour the cub stays in the grass, which is the best ambush from enemies. If the herd approaches the cub, the female attempts to drive it away in order to provide the cub peace and serenity. Also, when going to sleep the gazelle sleeps far away from the cub, not to attract enemies by her smell. However cubs regularly become victims of lions or other predators.

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